SANTA CRUZ, Calif., March 24 (UPI) -- University of California-Santa Cruz scientists say they have developed a metal nanostructure that shows medical, chemical and biological promise.
The hollow gold nanospheres developed by UCSC Professor Jin Zhang and his colleagues at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center can, among other things, target tumors for photothermal therapy.
"What makes this structure special is the combination of the spherical shape, the small size and the strong absorption in visible and near infrared light," Zhang said. "The absorption is not only strong, it is also narrow and tunable. All of these properties are important for cancer treatment."
Zhang said his laboratory can control the synthesis of the hollow gold nanospheres to produce particles with consistent size and optical properties. The hollow particles can be made in sizes ranging from 20 to 70 nanometers in diameter, which is an ideal range for biological applications that require particles to be incorporated into living cells, he said.
The research appeared in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research and Zhang described the study Sunday in Salt Lake City during the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.